Grandparents Day 2022 is Sunday, September 11. The official flower marking this special day is the forget-me-not, which is a great idea. The median age of today's grandparents is only 48! That's wonderful for helping out with the grandkids, but it could mean a long, lean life of dealing with debt into the golden years.
As outlined by the United States Census Bureau, this holiday was created by West Virginia native Marian McQuade in 1978. President Jimmy Carter signed the first proclamation of the important day the same year, with the first official recognition coming on the first Sunday after Labor Day, 1979.
Contrary to the stereotypical picture of creaky old folks in creaky old porch rockers, some 2.7 million grandparents in this country are responsible for the basic needs of their minor grandchildren. They are the primary caregivers of these youngsters.
How important are grandparents to the financial security of their families? The Census Bureau says 1.6 million grandparents are still in the workforce even as they are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren. They have average household incomes of $45,007 from which they pay for all their own needs and the needs of those grandkids.
Many famous figures have been raised by their grandparents. Among the notable names:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton
- Carol Burnett
- Maya Angelou
Consider two common traits of these celebrities, movers and shakers: they all have a drive to succeed and above-average incomes. Clearly, their upbringing instilled in them a desire to reach their potential. Just as clearly, they can thank their grandparents for that.
But not all grandparents succeed, at least financially. The Census Bureau reports that 8 percent of grandparents living with and caring for their grandchildren live below poverty level.
Parents and Grandparenting
Perhaps you are the beneficiary of good grandparents. You might be getting free babysitting and childcare courtesy of your parents. Perhaps you take the kids over for weekly meals at their grandparents' house. You and your kids might be living with your Mom and Dad.
Or, as with many grandparents, your kids might be living with your parents but you live elsewhere. When that happens, says the Census Bureau, median income in the grandparents' houses drops to $33,417.
Grandparents deserve respect and help, especially if they are giving their all to help you with your children. They may be shy about their financial struggles, including debt.
Grandparents and Debt
According to The Hill, older Americans are taking on debt at far higher rates than other age groups. Sixty-somethings shouldered roughly $93,000, on average, in debt.
The grandparents of your kids—your own parents—may be taking on credit card debt, medical bills, and other debts for a variety of reasons:
- To help you
- To provide better lives for your children (their grandchildren)
- To pay for in-home health services
- To co-sign a loan with their children or grandchildren
You might be benefiting from the benevolence, but take a moment to ask some important questions of your parents or grandparents. Always start such conversations by talking about your own challenges:
- “I know I struggle to keep debt to a minimum; do you have problems with debt?”
- “As you know, I was in serious debt a few years back. Are you in serious debt?”
- “I'm working hard to lower that persistent student debt. Do you still have student debt?”
- “I appreciate all you have done for me my whole life. Are you going into debt because of me, or my children?”
- “I was so relieved when I looked into financial solutions to my money woes. Would you accept help if I could provide it?”
Many proud grandparents may not want to admit to any financial straits. But if you approach them with kindness and a genuine desire to help—even if it means your own circumstances grow a little leaner—life-seasoned grandparents will recognize a lifeline when they hear it.
Discuss bankruptcy with your grandparents or parents. Offer to set up a convenient, free 40 minute strategy session with a talented, knowledgeable Texas bankruptcy attorney. Oh, they might hem and haw, but you can remind them of the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
- Creditors have legions of attorneys working to extract money from your grandparents or parents
- Bankruptcy is a legal and ethical tool to resolving insurmountable debt
- Bankruptcy in Texas can protect the home of your parents or grandparents
- Your parents or grandparents can still discharge their debts honorably, protecting their credit rating
- Creditors can be prevented from harassing and humiliating your beloved older family members
Contact the capable and compassionate team at The Page Law Firm today. We proudly serve parents, grandparents, single folks, and all who struggle with debt throughout Collin County and Denton County. You may also reach us by telephoning our offices at 214-618-2101 to schedule a complimentary 40 minute strategy session.